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Protiviti Survey Finds Internal Auditors More Focused On Managing And Leveraging Technology To Protect Companies Against Risks

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the 2014 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey Report ( www.protiviti.com/IAsurvey) released today by global consulting firm Protiviti, Internal auditors' priorities are to better navigate social media risks, leverage technology to improve the audit process, and collaborate more with business partners to address organizational risks.

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"Internal audit professionals' plates are more than full as they strive to protect their companies from exposure to risk while assessing new technologies and learning new regulatory requirements and professional standards," said Brian Christensen, executive vice president, global internal audit, Protiviti. "The responses to our survey reveal the myriad challenges – and opportunities ‑ they face under evolving business conditions. Those professionals who place a priority on being anticipatory, change-oriented and highly adaptive have the best chance of serving their organizations' risk management needs effectively."

More than 600 internal audit professionals, including chief audit executive (CAEs), responded to Protiviti's eighth annual survey to assess the top priorities for internal audit functions. In addition to assessing general technical knowledge, audit process knowledge, and personal skills and capabilities, respondents to the 2014 survey also provided information about their companies' audit processes for managing social media risk.

Social Media Risks Continue to Present Challenges  For the second consecutive year, the survey asked about social media risks and their integration into the audit process. Nearly half (47 percent) of surveyed organizations do not include in their audit plans cybersecurity risk as it relates to social media. 

According to respondents, the most important concerns related to social media risks include:

  • Financial loss
  • Interrupted business continuity
  • Loss of intellectual property
  • Loss of employee property
  • Viruses and malware

Despite some signs of progress, the survey's results suggest companies need to make dramatic improvements. For organizations that do have social media policies, significant concerns remain as many still fail to address critical issues. For example, in cases where respondents said a social media policy is in place, survey results showed that nearly 30 percent fail to address disclosure of employee information and only 66 percent address information security.

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